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The long fast is over, and we don’t start again until February 28 (I think.) It was harder this year than before, since we live in a non-fasting household, and I got off track for a couple of weekends.

The worst part is that I didn’t keep the fast well. I ignored what I needed, just sort of eating around what I prepared for the others, and I certainly did not get enough protein and even skipped meals. (It doesn’t look it – I ate too many carbs.) I substituted sugar for real food – and crashed hard on the 23rd day. My husband promptly ordered me off the fast and would take no argument. I had made myself ill, and that was that.

Neglecting oneself is not good fasting. It is not proper gratitude and trust in God. I am not going to call it prideful in this case, but it was not mindful.

We are discussing the Lenten fast already. Nicholas does not want me to get into the same situation, and since he will be back in training, fasting will not be possible for him. If I join him in the gym again, it won’t be possible for me, and he really expects me to get back into the trainers and lift some weight. I know I need some time on the treadmill to build up stamina again. ( It’s a lot cheaper to train in a gym than for us to try to buy all the equipment we need and house it. We have been competition level athletes and that’s what you do at that level.)

So the Lenten fast will have to look different than the canonical guidelines. I am seriously suggesting that we give up all junk food, all refined foods, and eat a good mediterranean type diet. If that is the case, then we might as well start now!

For it isn’t the fasting itself that saves us, but the intention of our hearts as we turn to God and theosis, growing in His likeness.

We will find ways of mindfulness; ways to serve the Lord, self-sacrifices to make and new joys in His glorious Name.

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